Hurricane Isaac has made landfall in Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish this evening and the storm will continue to move slowly along the coast over the next day. There has been 106-mph wind gust recorded on an rig in the Gulf. Storm surges up to 8 feet have been seen in the area and worse is likely to occur overnight and into Wednesday. The biggest issue with this storm is going to be the slow movement and the large amounts of rain that will fall as a result. Some places will see over a foot of rain between now and Thursday morning. The two images below show the clouds and the rain associated with Isaac. Notice on the radar how clearly the eye is visible. That is the the area in the middle that looks like a donut hole.
All the severe weather is staying to the south of Massachusetts overnight. Periods of rain, some of it heavy, is the only weather problem through morning. There may be some street flooding in areas that receive a lot of rain. During Friday the rain will end but there is still the risk of a more showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. It will be warm and muggy. The weekend isn't looking stellar to start but improves dramatically Sunday. If I had to rank the upcoming weekend on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being best, we are going to be about a 2 on Saturday and an 8 on Sunday. It does appear that next week we will see more sunshine and a period of drier air. Do you have weather question or thought about the blog? I would love to hear from you or just have you follow my updates on Twitter @growingwisdomFULL ENTRY
Microburst, it seems like that is the new buzz word meteorologists are pushing. However, the word isn't new, I think we are just hearing it more as meteorologists are using scientific terms more often than a few years ago. I think that is a good thing. Very often after severe weather moves through an area you hear that the damage was caused by a microburst, not a tornado. People who experience a severe microburst often think they have been in a small tornado, but in reality they haven't. A microburst forms very differently from a tornado, but the damage can be significant nonetheless. When thunderstorms form, warm and moist air rises from the ground to help create the storm. Air that rises needs to be replaced. Some of the replaced air comes from the sides of the storm and some comes from above the ground. As the storm matures, the colder air at the top of the storm is pulled down towards the earth. Heavy rain and hail can drag down more cold air down from the upper parts of the storm. The air can start rushing down at terrific speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. In a matter of minutes, the air moving towards the earth will hit the ground. The air moving downward is called a downburst, a small downburst is called a microburst. Either a downburst or a microburst can cause damage.
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The severe weather across far western areas of Massachusetts and into New Hampshire has diminished. These storms, what remains will produce heavy rain overnight as they head east and pass offshore after midnight. A cool maritime air mass will prevent any severe weather within 40-50 miles of the coast. Earlier today there were tornado watches and warnings up for parts of New England. Some areas around Keene, NH saw over 1/2 a foot of rain. Trees went down and roads got washed out, there was also many reports of hail as well.
A cold front is slowly moving east this evening at the same time warm and humid air has moved into much of southern and central New England. Over the next several hours we will be watching a line of storms that moved out of New York and Pennsylvania earlier today cross eastern Massachusetts and the rest of New England. As the storms move east they are weakening and will produce some heavy rain and thunder. I don't expect any severe weather around Boston.
Tornado season is just about upon us. Across the country, 2011, was the 4th deadliest year on record with 500 casualties (the average is 60). There is never just one factor as to why a particular tornado season is so deadly. Part of the reason is just pure chance. One major tornado goes across a corn field one year and another tornado rips through a heavily populated area the next, each with entirely different results.FULL ENTRY